WRC 2015: Rallye Monte-Carlo – SS1 Live Blog


Welcome to the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship season.

Join us below for live updates from the 21.31km of  SS1 Entrevaux – Rouaine on the Rallye Monte-Carlo as Volkswagen get set to defend their pride (and championship titles).

This page will automatically refresh when there are updates.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:01

The 2015 WRC season begins here and we’re lucky enough to see Loeb vs Ogier once again. Who’s going to come out on top?

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:07

There’s been snow in the UK, but there’s plenty more on SS1 as the official WRC twitter has shown us: http://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/558316091102212096

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:09

There’s been plenty of admiration for the new Volkswagen Polo R thanks to its striking livery. Tonight the car will make its debut.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:12

Around ten minutes until we get underway.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:17

Snow, darkness and freezing temperatures will make SS1 all the more challenging, tyre choice will be crucial this evening.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:20

Sebastien Ogier is lining up ready to go.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:21

Ogier starts and kicks off the new season!

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:23

Long winding s-bends in the first minute of the stage.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:24

Now Latvala sets off! Second to go in the order.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:25

Here goes the third Volkswagen. Mikkelsen now setting off on SS1.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:26

Little bit of a slide from Ogier in the 4th minute as the corners become tighter and far more snowy. Tyre choices will be interesting in this section.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:27

There’s no let up on the snow but Ogier is controlling well. Meanwhile, Ostberg is setting off.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:29

Ogier seems to have found clearer tarmac and is back on the power.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:30

Thierry Neuville sets off in the Hyundai.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:31

Latvala getting a little twitchy with the snow and now Kris Meeke joins the action.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:32

Ogier is two thirds of the way through the stage

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:33

Ogier is on to the narrow section after 11 minutes in to his run.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:33

Drivers will have to be careful here, some tall banks of snow on the edges of the tarmac. A mistake could be costly.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:34

Evans sets off in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:35

Ogier after 4.8km leads by 0.8secs over Mikkelsen. Neuville in third, trailing by 1.6secs.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:35

Prokop sets off in the Ford.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:38

Meeke has gone quickest at the 4.8km mark, he went faster than Ogier by 1.7secs.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:38

The first time of the new season set by Ogier for the SS1 stage, a 16min 24.4secs.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:40

Solberg sets off to start SS1.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:40

12.1 secs down for Latvala, trailing Ogier at the end of the stage.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:41

Prokop is flying, currently fastest on the split times

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:41

Prokop beat Meeke’s time by 0.4secs at the 4.8km mark.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:41

Latvala mentions changing grip levels through the stage as he crosses the stage finish

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:42

Bouffier joins the action.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:42

Mikkelsen will take third, he’s lost a lot of time in the last section, he finishes 23secs off Ogier’s SS1 time.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:43

Mikkelsen will be looking over his shoulder with Ostberg close to the end of SS1.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:44

Tanak joins the SS1 field.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:45

Ostberg goes second! 16min 29.6secs. Ogier still leads at the end of SS1 with a 16min 24.4secs.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:46

Robert Kubica sets off in his Ford. Bouffier now fastest at the 4.8km mark now.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:46

Neuville goes third, with a time of 16min 31.1secs time at the end of SS1.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:47

Guess who’s back? Sebastien Loeb is off to start SS1! He’s here for fun apparently…

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:48

Meeke is at the end, sets a time of 16min 26.1secs, only 1.7secs shy of leader Ogier. Meeke sits in second at SS1.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:48

Evans is closing in on the stage finish

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:49

Meeke says he enjoyed the stage despite the tricky conditions

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:50

Tanak fastest at 4.8km mark as Evans finishes SS1 in sixth with a time of 16.min 40.2secs.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:51

Prokop has caught the barrier on his final approach, doesn’t seem to be critical.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:52

Might have cost him time though, he sets a time of 16min 46.9secs, that’s seventh fastest.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:53

Just for fun, as Loeb goes quickest at the 4.8km mark!

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:55

Although entered for this one rally, Loeb has been nominated to score points for the Citroen team this weekend, although we’re only on SS1 you have to say that they’ve made the right choice!

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:55

Spaniard Sordo finishes the stage, takes a 17min 04.9secs, finishes 9th.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201519:56

As if the conditions weren’t challenging enough there are points throughout the stage where spectators have thrown snow on to the road

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:56

Solberg joins the finishers, 16min 38.4secs for sixth.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:57

According to commentary, Kubica went off, but he is still running. The Pole is cutting it fine near the snow banks.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:58

Solid stage for Bouffier, takes fifth.

Tom Errington January 22, 201519:59

As it stands Ogier leads Meeke. It’s then Osterberg and Neuville.

Tom Errington January 22, 201520:00

Ogier knocked off the top! Tanak has gone top with a 16min 15.5. Not bad when your co-driver has never done Monte Carlo…

Tom Errington January 22, 201520:02

Kubica takes tenth, the off cost him a lot of time it seems.

Tom Errington January 22, 201520:04

Incredible! Loeb has blasted to a TWENTY TWO second lead! Sets a 15min 53.5secs time!

Tom Errington January 22, 201520:06

Hell of a comeback from Loeb.

Tom Errington January 22, 201520:09

Despite the gap, Tanak’s drive to second is impressive considering his lack of experience here.

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:10

There’s still plenty of action to come from SS1 although we’re sure it won’t be as exciting as Loebs time

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:16

Chardonnet has had issues on the stage, we’re awaiting news

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:17

Suspension issues for the Frenchman

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:19

Junior WRC champion Lefebvre is flying, impressive stuff from the young driver as he makes the move up to WRC2

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:20

Blocked exhaust for Lefebvre, he will want to stop that before the start of SS2

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:22

Chardonnet has finally crossed the finish

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:24

Breen arrives at the finish missing a front bumper after two off road excursions

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:34

That’s the frontrunners through SS1, keep a look out on site for a full report of this stage and SS2 later this evening

Vince Pettit January 22, 201520:43

That’s the frontrunners through SS1, keep a look out on site for a full report of this stage and SS2 later this evening